An Australian Anglais Musical Moment

Before today, we had never heard of Michaela Gerhmann, better known by her stage name Micky Green but she is an Australian musician/model in France who recently released the single TL from her new album Honky Tonk and she seems to have quite the following. We would proud to add ourselves to that list as the video reminds us of 1950s Paris films while Micky’s voice lends it an easy-going tone to meld with its femme fatale imagery.

Three Indians Denied Entry Into Australian Bar

Last year, there were nearly 100 cases of attacks on Indians recorded in Australia. This year seems as if it will be no different as yet another incident of racism has been reported on. Three Indians were refused entry into Australian bar, Melbourne Centre Lion Hotel. Among a group of three Nepalese and three Indians, the Indians were singled out for no apparent reason. Nepalese citizen, Sujan Pathak said, “We had gone to the bar to throw a farewell party for one of our friends, Abhishek Aggarwal, who is about to leave for India”. When they called police, they were told that this was not a case of racism and the “[police could do nothing about] it” and “they had better find another bar”. As a side note, all bars in Australia display an outdoor notice stating their right to turn away any customer without explanation.

Aggarwal said, “We were not drunk, we were carrying our age proof, we were properly attired. But still they said ‘you guys can’t get in’. They didn’t give us any reason. We waited there for 10 minutes. All other guys were getting in… but we were not allowed to go inside.” Further, his response to police saying it was not a case of racism was, “This not about this bar or that particular bar. This is about my dignity, my race…It’s a case of racism.”

This is deeply upsetting. It’s as if the Civil Rights Movement never occurred and that segregation is being condoned by authority figures. It is also with great sadness that we say that this skims the surface on how deep racism runs. Funnily enough, Australian authorities maintain that the country is a safe place to work, live and study. However, 21-year-old student Nitin Garg was stabbed to death by unidentified assailants this month! Last month, Ranjodh Singh, another Indian student was killed in New South Wales. How is that SAFE?!!

When will racism stop? It seems childish and naive to say it but it’s true. How much hate do people have to justify ending the lives of people based on their colour of skin?

Naked And Un-photoshopped

A few days ago, it was reported that Jennifer Hawkins stripped down for this month’s issue of Australia’s Marie Claire. The photo is said to be completely un-retouched or photo-shopped. The photo was taken to promote a natural woman’s self-image so that when people do pick up a magazine, they know what they are looking at is real.

While not everyone looks like Jennifer Hawkins, she defends herself saying that she is not a stick figure but perhaps that this picture can influence other people who appear on magazines to opt for taking a real picture au lieu of an illustrated one.

Jennifer’s picture, however will be put to further good use as it will also be auctioned to raise money for eating disorders support groups.

Change comes in increments.

Maybe one day the Dove women will be put onto front covers like that.

New Years From Around The World


Sydney, Australia


London, England


Paris, France


Hong Kong, China


Rio de Janiero, Brazil


Russia


Dubai

How To Un-Gay Someone? Take Them To A Hooker?!

An Australian father, now facing rape charges for taking his 14-year-old son to one such lady of the night, seemed to think so.

The father suspicious that his son was gay, allegedly called a prostitute during a family Christmas party in 2007 to set up at ‘meeting’ (we leave you to think of more colourful terms) at a motel on Yaamba Road, North Rockhampton.When he arrived with his son, he made sure he was shown the used condom to ensure the sexual act had taken place. And that’s the least radical thing he could think of? Insaaane

Reasoning behind this extreme and inappropriate behaviour was documented 6 months ago on May 5, 2007 when the father called police alleging that “his 14-year-old son was abusing his younger brother.” As the police had not acted on this suspicion, the father claims he “tried to sort it out himself by taking (his son) to a prostitute”. Interesting since it appears he wasn’t so worried about the younger brother but erasing out homosexuality. Take it from this guy, sending your son to a likely source of STDs is much better than the gay life.

The boy’s mother has commented that her son “didn’t want to say anything to me. Then he told me his father took him to a motel room and there was a prostitute there. He wouldn’t talk, he just started crying”

The prostitute, described as about “28-years-old, tall and skinny with tanned skin and dark, long hair”, has not yet been found.

Sad

To become morally bankrupt (or maybe he already was) instead of supporting your son’s alleged ‘gayness’.

HOW DO YOU SLEEP AT NIGHT?

See Santa’s Travels With NORAD!




If you wanted to track the location of Father Christmas tonight, you have only to look on NORAD’s site, accessible in 7 languages.

The tradition started in 1955 when NORAD was called the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) and a Sears advertisement printed Santa’s hotline into CONAD’s instead of Santa!

Colonel Harry Shoup, a commander, decided to have his staff find out where Santa was to so they could pass along the information to the kids.

Nowadays, volunteers help the center by taking phone calls and e-mails from kids. But if you really want to know what’s going on with Santa, all you need is a computer. Thanks to the Internet now, you can track him yourself online through NORAD’s site.

NORAD is made possible by Google Earth so have fun tracking and Merry Christmas!

Lilith Fair’s Newest Addition!

Introducing Butterfly Boucher from Down Under. She is the most recently added musician for this year’s Lilith Fair. She will be playing alongside the likes of Metric, Corinne Bailey Rae and Sarah McLachlan among many more. We really like her sound. It’s kinda familiar and kinda new. Plus, she looks kinda badass or at least we hope she is, otherwise that leather jacket was sorely misplaced.

Woman kills sister over hair-straighteners


Kathleen Worrall (left) pictured with her sister Susan

Kathleen Worrall, 20, from Sydney plead guilty to manslaughter for the stabbing of her sister Susan Worrall, aged 18 after an argument escalated. Over hair straighteners!

This occurred last October but today she pleaded not guilty to murder but manslaughter.

Kathleen’s sentence will be handed down March 26th of next year.

For the moment, she is in jail, without hair straightener.

They should shave that crazy’s hair all off. Who are these people!?

Asthma advancements discovered by Australian researchers

At the University of Newcastle and the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Asthma and Airways, researchers have made a major breakthrough that might just revolutionize the way asthma and other inflammatory diseases are treated.

Though the blocking of malfunctioning microRNA molecules, Professor Paul Foster*, Associate Professor Joerg Mattes* and a team of young CRC scientists have found a way to stop inflammation for the first time, which is “the main cause of asthma and other chronic diseases.”

“MicroRNA molecules regulate protein production in human cells. When the molecules malfunction they cause an imbalance in protein levels leading to an inflammation in the body. This inflammation can manifest as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis or a number of other conditions.”

It is based on this that Professor Foster thinks they can isolate the cause instead of the symptoms of asthma, which is suppressed by puffers or inhaled steroids. He also believes they might be able to stop rheumatoid arthritis.

The next step? testing with human tissue

We hope the Aussies do find a cure

Dust storms spread deadly diseases worldwide

As reported last week, Sydney suffered from red skies and dust filled air decreasing visibility and making millions choke from the pollution.
“Dust storms like the one that plagued Sydney are blowing bacteria to all corners of the globe, with viruses that will attack the human body. It is also said that these scourges can also help mitigate climate change

A dust storm blankets Sydney’s iconic Opera House at sunrise.
Huge dust storms, like the ones that blanketed Sydney twice last week, hit Queensland yesterday and turned the air red across much of eastern Australia, are spreading lethal epidemics around the world. However, they can also absorb climate change emissions, say researchers studying the little understood but growing phenomenon.

The Sydney storm was a consequence of the 10-year drought that has turned parts of Australia’s interior into a giant dust bowl, providing perfect conditions for high winds to whip loose soil into the air and carry it thousands of miles across the continent.

It followed major dust storms this year in northern China, Iraq and Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, east Africa, Arizona and other arid areas. Most of the storms are also linked to droughts, but are believed to have been exacerbated by deforestation, overgrazing of pastures and climate change.

As diplomats prepare to meet in Bangkok tomorrow for the next round of climate talks, meteorologists predict that more major dust storms can be expected, carrying minute particles of beneficial soil and nutrients as well as potentially harmful bacteria, viruses and fungal spores.

“The numbers of major dust storms go up and down over the years,” said Andrew Goudie, geography professor at Oxford University. “In Australia and China they tailed off from the 1970s then spiked in the 1990s and at the start of this decade. At the moment they are clearly on an upward trajectory.”

Laurence Barrie is chief researcher at the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) in Geneva, which is working with 40 countries to develop a dust storm warning system. He said: “I think the droughts [and dust storms] in Australia are a harbinger. Dust storms are a natural phenomenon, but are influenced by human activities and are now just as serious as traffic and industrial air pollution. The minute particles act like urban smog or acid rain. They can penetrate deep into the human body.”

Saharan storms are thought to be responsible for spreading lethal meningitis spores throughout semi-arid central Africa, where up to 250,000 people, particularly children, contract the disease each year and 25,000 die. “There is evidence that the dust can mobilise meningitis in the bloodstream,” said Barrie.

Higher temperatures and more intense storms are also linked to “valley fever”, a disease contracted from a fungus in the soil of the central valley of California. The American Academy of Microbiology estimates that about 200,000 Americans go down with valley fever each year, 200 of whom die. The number of cases in Arizona and California almost quadrupled in the decade to 2006.

Scientists who had thought diseases were mostly transmitted by people or animals now see dust clouds as possible transmitters of influenza, Sars and foot-and-mouth, and increasingly responsible for respiratory diseases. A rise in the number of cases of asthma in children on Caribbean islands has been linked to an increase in the dust blown across the Atlantic from Africa. The asthma rate in Barbados is 17 times greater than it was in 1973, when a major African drought began, according to one major study. Researchers have also documented more hospital admissions when the dust storms are at their worst.

“We are just beginning to accumulate the evidence of airborne dust implications on health,” said William Sprigg, a climate expert at Arizona University.

The scale and range of some recent dust storms has surprised scientists. Japanese academics reported in July that a giant dust storm in China’s Taklimakan desert in 2007 picked up nearly 800,000 tonnes of dust which winds carried twice around the world.

Dust from the Gobi and Taklimakan deserts is often present over the western United States in the spring and can lead to disastrous air quality in Korean, Japanese and Russian cities. It frequently contributes to the smogs over Los Angeles. Britain and northern Europe are not immune from dust storms. Dust blown from the Sahara is commonly found in Spain, Italy and Greece and the WMO says that storms deposit Saharan dust north of the Alps about once a month. Last year Britain’s Meteorological Office reported it in south Wales.

Some scientists sought to attribute the 2001 foot-and-mouth outbreak to a giant storm in north Africa that carried dust and possibly spores of the animal disease as far as northern Britain only a week before the first reported cases.

The scale and spread of the dust storms has also surprised researchers. Satellite photographs have shown some of the clouds coming out of Africa to be as big as the whole land mass of the US, with a major storm able to whip more than a million tonnes of soil into the atmosphere. Sydney was covered by an estimated 5,000 tonnes of dust last week, but the WMO says Beijing was enveloped by more than 300,000 tonnes in one storm in 2006.

“The 2-3 billion tonnes of fine soil particles that leave Africa each year in dust storms are slowly draining the continent of its fertility and biological productivity,” said Lester Brown, director of the Earth Policy Institute research group in Washington DC. “Those big storms take millions of tonnes of soil, which takes centuries to replace.”

Brown and Chinese scientists say the increased number of major dust storms in China is directly linked to deforestation and the massive increase in numbers of sheep and goats since the 1980s, when restrictions on herders were removed. “Goats will strip vegetation,” said Brown. “They ate everything and dust storms are now routine. If climate change leads to a reduction in rainfall, then the two trends reinforce themselves.” China is planting tens of millions of trees to act as a barrier to the advancing desert.

However, research increasingly suggests that the dust could be mitigating climate change, both by reflecting sunlight in the atmosphere and fertilising the oceans with nutrients. Iron-rich dust blown from Australia and from the Gobi and Sahara deserts is largely deposited in oceans, where it has been observed to feed phytoplankton, the microscopic marine plants that are the first link in the oceanic food chain and absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide. In addition, the upper layers of the rainforest in Brazil are thought to derive much of their nutrient supply from dust transported across the Atlantic from the Sahara.

Just as scientists struggle to understand how dust is affecting climate, evidence is growing that another airborne pollutant, soot, is potentially disastrous. Minute particles of carbon produced by diesel engines, forest fires and the inefficient burning of wood in stoves is being carried just like dust to the remotest regions of the world.

A study by the United Nations Environment Programme has just concluded that the pollutant has played a major part in shrinking the Himalayan glaciers and has helped to disrupt the south Asian monsoon.

“Soot accounts from 10% to more than 45% of the contribution to global warming,” said Achim Steiner, director of the UN’s environment programme. “It is linked to accelerated losses of glaciers in Asia because soot deposits darken ice, making it more vulnerable to melting.”

Sydney Sky Turns RED!


This is not an illusion!! This happened in Sydney, Australia a few months ago!!
The people down under had awoken to the deep reddish haze amazing them and the weather experts!

How can this be you might ask?

Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Jane Golding said the colour comes from an exorbitant amount of dust that has collected in the area, saying:

“The reason for the dust is we had some really strong winds in the inland areas of NSW and in South Australia for a sustained period yesterday. That’s lifted a whole lot of dust off the ground because it’s quite dry out there, many of those areas are still drought affected…I’ve not seen anything like this before.”

She also pointed out that the reddish haze is expected to fade as the sun gets higher in the sky, changing from “a crimson red to orange by about 7am.”

A severe weather warning went out across the city, as the dust has made visibility terrible and the winds carrying this reddish dust are as high as 60km/h and expected to get worse!!!”

It was definitely looking very Armageddon over there …..WOW!